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HEALTH EFFECTS OF ENVIRONMENTAL EXPOSURES TO CHILDREN LIVING IN AN AGRICULTURAL COMMUNITY

Eskenazi, Brenda*; Bradman, Asa*; Holland, Nina*; Barr, Dana; Tager, Ira*; Lipsett, Michael; Alkon, Abbey§; Johnson, Caroline; Gladstone, Eleanor A.*

The Sixteenth Conference of the International Society for Environmental Epidemiology (ISEE): Abstracts
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*Center for Children’s Environmental Health Research, School of Public Health, University of California, Berkeley; †National Center for Environmental Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; ‡Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment, California Environmental Protection Agency; §School of Nursing, University of California, San Francisco; ∥Pediatric Neuropsychology Group

ISEE-187

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Introduction:

The Center for Children’s Environmental Health Research at the University of California, Berkeley is one of eleven centers funded by the Environmental Protection Agency and National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences to investigate children’s health and the environment. The goal of our center is to determine whether there are adverse health consequences to children from exposures to environmental hazards, including pesticides, pollens, molds, and dusts, in agricultural communities. Specifically, we will determine the relationship between neurodevelopment, growth, and the occurrence of asthma and chronic low-level pesticide exposure during the prenatal and postnatal periods.

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Methods:

Over one-year, we enrolled a cohort of 600 pregnant women who were receiving care from two community clinics who serve low-income, Hispanic residents of Monterey County, California; we have followed their children until age two and are currently completing assessments at age 42-months. Mothers have been interviewed pre- and post-natally about their habits, demographic characteristics, and work and medical histories. We conducted child neurobehavioral evaluations at 6, 12, and 24 months, focusing on behaviors likely to be affected by pesticide exposure. The mother has been questioned about her child’s development and illnesses, breastfeeding, and child-care. Maternal and child urine, blood, breastmilk, dust, pollen, and mold samples have been collected, and home visits have been conducted.

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Results:

Data presented will describe environmental and sociodemographic factors potentially affecting the children’s health and development, including housing quality and density, allergen exposures, environmental exposures (i.e., pesticides, ETS), SES, social support, and acculturation.

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Discussion:

This study will, for the first-time, provide comprehensive information on the sources, pathways, and levels of pesticide exposures of children. Similarly, it will provide new information on the potential adverse health effects of those exposures.

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